Moist & Rich Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Super moist vegan chocolate peanut butter cake made with layers of tender and rich secretly gluten free vegan chocolate cake between irresistible peanut butter buttercream frosting and decadent chocolate buttercream frosting. No one will know this cake is vegan, dairy free, AND gluten free!
Super moist vegan chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting
I thought I was in love once I tried my vegan chocolate cake recipe. But I was wrong.
This super fudgy, nutty and rich vegan chocolate peanut butter cake is true love. You’re just going to be obsessed.
What’s more, you’ll never be able to detect that the actual cake is also naturally oil free (yep, no butter nor vegetable oil in the actual cake!) and gluten free, yet super moist and decadent! It’s truly one of the best vegan cake recipes you’ll ever make and try.
Oh, and decorated with vegan peanut butter cups, because if you’re already this far, you might as well go all out.
This decadent vegan chocolate peanut butter cake is the perfect cake for all occasions, including birthdays, weddings, graduations, holidays (especially Halloween!), parties, or really any time that you want to make a cake!
The reason being? This vegan peanut butter cake recipe is so freaking decadent that no one will know it’s vegan, whether or not they eat vegan on a regular basis!
Plus! You can easily make this chocolate cake recipe gluten free as well, and different layer sizes! This vegan chocolate peanut butter cake recipe is super easy to make, yet looks like an absolute showstopper.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Ingredients:
What you’ll need for this vegan chocolate cake part:
- Flour: you can use gluten free or all purpose flour here. Just make sure that it’s sifted!
- Cocoa powder: While cacao powder is loaded with polyphenols (antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and improve blood flow), cocoa powder still has incredible benefits, and is actually much better for baking. If you want tall vegan cakes, please use all natural cocoa powder. The acidity found in natural cocoa powder (I purchase the one in the purple tin) will react with the baking soda, causing our cakes to rise.
- Granulated sugar and brown sugar sugar
- Leavening agents: just baking powder and baking soda here!
- Vegan buttermilk: you can use any dairy-free milk, such as oat milk, coconut, or almond. The apple cider vinegar helps to curdle the milk to be much like a buttermilk (only vegan!). This will give the cake a bit of a lift and extra moisture. I’ve also experimented with this cake using Forager Project’s drinkable cashew milk yogurt; it acts much like a store bought vegan buttermilk!
- Applesauce: the vegan egg replacement (and added moisture!). You can also swap in dairy free yogurt.
- Vegan peanut butter frosting: This peanut butter buttercream is absolutely incredible! So creamy and lush. I like to use vegan unsalted butter, and use creamy peanut butter (unsalted). Make sure to just add a pinch of sea salt to help bring the flavor together! Then you’ll also use powdered sugar (or powdered coconut sugar) and a little dairy free milk. You can also add in a teaspoon vanilla extract here if you’d like.
- Vegan ganache & vegan peanut butter cups: While this cake tastes like a Reese’s cup, we’re not actually using any reese’s peanut butter cups in or on top of the cake! If you’d like to decorate the cake with peanut butter cups, you can use store bought (I like Unreal Chocolate best) or make your own.
Overview: How to make a decadent vegan chocolate peanut butter cake:
For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.
Making a (vegan) cake is supposed to be enjoyable, and eating it even more so.
Vegan Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
For this peanut butter buttercream frosting, you’ll need:
- vegan butter
- creamy peanut butter
- powdered sugar
- dairy-free milk
I actually love how the peanut butter creates this ultra fluffy and smooth buttercream. It might actually be my favorite vegan buttercream yet, and it’s soooo easy to eat just with a spoon (so you’ve been warned!).
You can make the peanut butter frosting either in a stand mixer or with a large bowl and hand mixer. Cream together the vegan butter and peanut butter together on medium speed at first, then increase to high speed. Next, add in the powdered sugar in increments, along with the dairy free milk.
Then you’re ready to frost!
Tips for making a vegan chocolate cake
- Don’t forget to sift the dry ingredients! This ensures that all ingredients are evenly distributed and will lead to a more even bake.
- Use room temperature wet ingredients: this is very important if you want a super moist and tender vegan cake while not getting that claggy texture.
- Don’t over mix the batter! Mix the batter until it’s just combined. This will prevent the gluten from activating and creating a gummy texture.
Tips for making vegan buttercream frosting
- Make sure the vegan butter is room temperature: much like regular buttercream frosting, to make a vegan buttercream frosting, the vegan butter needs to be entirely room temperature. You can use any vegan butter here: I like Miyoko’s or Forager Project, but it also works well with Earth Balance. I notice more of a soy taste to Earth Balance though.
- Only make the buttercream when you’re ready to frost! And on that note, make sure that the cakes are entirely cool before beginning. Otherwise, you’ll end up with your beautiful vegan chocolate cakelayers on the ground!
- Use the same bowl for the vegan peanut butter buttercream as you will with the vegan chocolate buttercream: this saves bowls, time, and gives the chocolate buttercream more of a peanut butter taste!
How to store leftover cake
If you have any leftovers of this vegan chocolate peanut butter cake (hey, it can happen from time to time!), I recommend storing the cake covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.
However, you can also slice the cake, cover it, and store it in an airtight container or cake container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You’re just going to absolutely love vegan chocolate peanut butter cake recipe! It’s the perfect birthday cake for all eaters, vegan or gluten free or neither! If you make it, let me know down below in the comments section, as well as giving it a rating so that others can find it.
Happy chocolate peanut butter cake baking (and eating!)
More healthy vegan cake recipes:
Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!
If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!Print
Super moist vegan chocolate peanut butter cake made with layers of tender and rich chocolate cake between irresistible peanut butter buttercream frosting and decadent chocolate buttercream frosting. No one will know this cake is vegan nor dairy free!
Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cake:
The original recipe was based off of my vegan chocolate cake.
- 1 1/4 cup (300 mL) vegan buttermilk, room temperature
- 3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour, sifted
- 1 cup (95 g) all natural cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (110 g) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 cup (220 g) dairy free yogurt, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 mL) hot water + 1 tsp dissolvable espresso powder (or 1 cup (240 mL) brewed coffee, decaf if desired)
- 1 batch vegan peanut butter frosting
- 1 batch of vegan chocolate ganache
- 6–7 vegan peanut butter cups (you can also use this vegan almond butter cup recipe and swap in peanut butter)
- Please read through all instructions before beginning.
- Prep: preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and line three 6″ cake pans with cooking oil and parchment paper, and set aside. Measure out all ingredients. Mix together the dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl, and set aside to rest for 5 minutes. This will be called the vegan buttermilk going forward.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: in a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, cocoa powder, arrowroot powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside
- Make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside. In a large bowl and a whisk, whisk the vegan butter, sugar, and brown sugar until integrated. Then add in the dairy free yogurt and vanilla extract, and whisk again until combined. To the mixture, add in about half of the flour mixture, along with half of the buttermilk. Whisk gently until the flour starts to combine with the wet. Add in the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, and whisk again just before there are no more dry streaks. Slowly pour in the hot coffee, and whisk gently until the coffee has just mixed into the batter.
- Bake: pour the batter into the three prepared pans evenly, and place into the oven to bake for 33-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes. Then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack to fully cool before frosting. There should be no heat within the cakes at all prior to making the vegan buttercream.
- Made the vegan peanut butter buttercream: In a large bowl, cream together the vegan butter and peanut butter until creamy, about 3 minutes. Sift in the powdered sugar and continue beating until the powdered sugar is completely incorporated. You can use the dairy-free milk here to combine the powdered sugar until it’s creamy and fluffy.
- Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer onto a cake plate or stand, and add about 1/2 of the frosting to the top of the cake layer. Use a flat cake knife to smear the frosting until it meets the edges. Place the second layer on top and repeat. Place the third layer on top, and smooth any frosting that is poking out between the layers (almost like creating a crumb coating). Place the cake into the freezer to set for 10 minutes. After the initial crumb coat is set, apply the final layer of frosting.
- When ready to finish frosting the vegan chocolate peanut butter cake: Top with vegan ganache and pipe any remaining frosting on top. Chop the peanut butter cups into quarters and top the cake. Slice and serve!
- Storage: Store any leftovers at room temperature for up to 2 days covered, or in the fridge for up to a week. See note for preparing the cake ahead of time.
Gluten free: I you’d like to make a gluten free vegan chocolate cake using gluten free 1:1 baking flour, swap in gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free baking flour.
To make powdered coconut sugar: you can use powdered sugar here or you can keep the cake entirely refined sugar free, and pulse the coconut sugar in a food processor. Pulse it for about 5 minutes to create a Paleo powdered sugar.
To make a three-layered 6″ cake: bake the cakes for 30-33 minutes, but check with a toothpick towards the end of the baking time.
To make a two-layered 9″ cake: bake the cakes for 32-37 minutes, but check with a toothpick towards the end of the baking time.
Prepare the cake ahead of time: if you want to prepare the cake ahead of time, make the cake up until you finish step 6. Once the cakes are cool, wrap them in plastic wrap and store the cake layers in the fridge for up to 1 day. Then when ready to assemble, make the frostings and continue assembling the cake.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 576
- Sugar: 67.4 g
- Sodium: 417 mg
- Fat: 21.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 95.4 g
- Fiber: 4.8 g
- Protein: 8.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: vegan chocolate peanut butter cake, chocolate peanut butter cake, chocolate peanut butter cake recipe, chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting